FORMER Borno State governor and Senator representing Northern Borno, Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan has said that though he lost his brother, son, inlaw and two of his chairmen to Boko Haram insurgence, the carnage at Baga, following the clash between soldiers and sect member and what he saw when he visited his constituency was a national desaster that was far more than what was reported in the national dailies.
Lawan said newspapers underreported what actually happened at Baga, adding that his people were now living in a humanitarian crises, with no food, good drinking water and roof over their heads, adding that there might be an outbreak of diseases in the area if urgent attention is not given the place.
The senator said he was not making a political statement but was speaking the truth based on what he saw with his eyes as such expressing the pulse of the people of the area.
“If you go to Baga and see what is on ground you would agree with me that the number doubled what the media actually reported. I drove about five kilometres on the stretch and saw nothing but continuous carnage. Over 4,000 houses were destroyed and the number of deaths far more than what we read in the papers. I am appealing to the military to always follow the rules of engagement.”he said
The senator said wiping out a whole community is a lazy way of fighting insurgence and urged government to embrace a more human approach to dialogue and amnesty.
The senator said although he did not want to join issues with the military but that while in Baga, he visited three graveyards where he counted 130, 60 and 30 graves respectively where the people who lost their lives during the clash were buried.
He also said the humanitarian agencies working in the town told him that they buried 8 people within the town.
According to him, from what he gathered 228 people were actually killed in the carnage. “ I spoke with the family members of the victims and they told me what their eyes saw and I also saw the destructions for myself".